Food Safety Magazine

News | January 22, 2014

Oysters from Copano Bay, Texas Linked to Norovirus Outbreak, FDA Warns

By Heidi Parsons

Oysters from Copano Bay, Texas Linked to Norovirus Outbreak, FDA Warns

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Jan. 17 warned consumers not to eat raw or partially cooked oysters oysters harvested from Copano Bay in Texas, as those oysters have been linked to an outbreak of norovirus in Louisiana.

Oysters harvested from Copano Bay, Texas, on Dec. 26, 2013, and then shipped by Alby’s Seafood of Fulton, Texas, have been linked to six norovirus illnesses in Louisiana. Alby’s Seafood has issued a recall of the oysters harvested on Dec. 26.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) closed Copano Bay to shellfish harvesting on Jan. 9, but because other shellfish harvested from Copano Bay before it was closed may still be in the marketplace, FDA's warning covers the period from Dec. 26, 2013 through Jan. 9, 2014.

The FDA advised all shellfish dealers, restaurants, retail food establishments and consumers to check the identity tags on all containers of shellfish in their inventories. If the tag indicates the shellfish were harvested from Copano Bay between Dec. 26, 2013 and Jan. 9, 2014 the product should be disposed of and should not be sold, served or eaten.